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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category: Page 515

Jun 5, 2016

Chile is producing so much solar power, it’s giving it away for free

Posted by in categories: economics, solar power, sustainability

Market forces often produce strange quirks in the economic system, like the one we’re seeing in Chile this year: the country is producing so much solar power that it’s being sold for… nothing at all.

While it’s incredibly encouraging to see so much expansion in the country’s renewable energy output, this huge amount of supply does actually cause problems for the companies looking to invest in solar energy.

Solar capacity on Chile’s central power grid (called SIC or Sistema Interconectado Central) has more than quadrupled over the past three years to 770 megawatts – good news for the environment and customers paying their electricity bills.

Continue reading “Chile is producing so much solar power, it’s giving it away for free” »

Jun 2, 2016

Odds are we’re living in a simulation, says Elon Musk

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, bioengineering, cosmology, Elon Musk, robotics/AI, sustainability, transportation

This is one of those “therotical” topics that many of us have had at some point in our lives with our engineering team pals, or with our research department/ lab buddies. Fun to see Elon Musk share his views on this topic. Who knows; maybe? Last week, we learned that black holes may be nothing more that a multi-layer hologram in space.


“There’s a billion to one chance we’re living in base reality,” Elon Musk said tonight on stage at Recode’s Code Conference, meaning that one of the most influential and powerful figures in tech thinks that it’s overwhelmingly likely we’re just characters living inside a simulation.

The Verge co-founder Josh Topolsky got half-way through asking Musk if he thought our existence was simulated before the Tesla CEO jumped in to finish his question for him. “I’ve had so many simulation discussions it’s crazy,” Musk explained. “You’ve thought about this?” Topolsky asked. “A lot,” Musk replied. “It got to the point where every conversation was the AI / simulation conversation, and my brother and I agreed that we would ban such conversations if we were ever in a hot tub.”

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Jun 2, 2016

These Tiny Spacecraft Could Lead Us to Alpha Centauri

Posted by in categories: computing, military, robotics/AI, satellites, solar power, sustainability

Earlier this spring, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner casually announced his intention to develop spacecraft that can travel at up to 20 percent the speed of light and reach Alpha Centauri within twenty years. From the outset, it was clear that no humans would be making the warp jump—the mission will involve extremely lightweight robotic spacecraft. A new fleet of tiny satellites hints at what those future interstellar voyagers will look like and be capable of.

Meet Sprites: sticky note-sized devices that sure look like the result of the Pentagon’s long-anticipated floppy disk purge, but are in fact state-of-the-art spacecraft complete with solar cells, a radio transceiver, and a tiny computer. Later this summer, a Cornell-led project called Kicksat-2 will launch 100 of these puppies to the International Space Station. There, the satellites will spend a few days field-testing their navigational hardware and communications systems before burning up in orbit.

The project’s lead engineers, Zachary Manchester and Mason Peck, are on the advisory committee for Breakthrough Starshot, an ambitious effort to reach our nearest neighboring star system within a generation. (In fact, the potato chip-sized computer Milner held up during a highly publicized press conference in April was Manchester’s own design.) Sprites, and the “chipsat” technology they’re based on, are a step toward that goal of interstellar travel. More generally, they’re an indication of the future of space exploration.

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Jun 2, 2016

Elon Musk’s craziest idea is the AI-beating Neural Lace

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, robotics/AI, sustainability, transportation

RANCHOS PALOS VERDES, California — Are you ready to interface with your digital self at neural level? Elon Musk wants you to. In fact, he thinks it’s the only way we can prevent becoming our artificial intelligence overlords’ house cats.

Musk laid our this wild, new digital vision during a late evening chat at the annual Code Conference.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Model 3 won’t get free Supercharger access, Musk says.

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Jun 1, 2016

Jeff Bezos thinks we need to build industrial zones in space in order to save Earth

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

It’s about solar power.

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May 28, 2016

Win-win cooperation lifts China-Russia energy partnership to new high

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, sustainability

Energy partnerships certainly do make strange bed fellows/.


MOSCOW, May 28 — Energy cooperation between China and Russia, featuring mutually beneficial cooperation in oil, natural gas, electricity, coal as well as nuclear and renewable energy, has been ever growing and has reached a new high.

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May 28, 2016

Thailand Creating Forests

Posted by in categories: climatology, drones, food, sustainability

As a result of deforestation, only 6.2 million square kilometers remain of the original 16 million square kilometers of forest that formerly covered Earth. Apart from adveserly impacting people’s livelihoods, rampant deforestation around the world is threatening a wide range of tree species, including the Brazil nut and the plants that produce cacao and açaí palm; animal species, including critically-endangered monkeys in the remote forests of Vietnam’s Central Highlands, and contributing to climate change instead of mitigating it (15% of all greenhouse gas emissions are the result of deforestation).

While the world’s forest cover is being unabashedly destroyed by industrial agriculture, cattle ranching, illegal logging and infrastructure projects, Thailand has found a unique way to repair its deforested land: by using a farming technique called seed bombing or aerial reforestation, where trees and other crops are planted by being thrown or dropped from an airplane or flying drone.

The tree seed bombing in Thailand is one of the greatest examples of ‘Conscious Entrepreneurs’ or ‘Spiritual Entrepreneurs’ out there right.

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May 27, 2016

Light Can ‘heal’ Defects in New Solar Cell Materials

Posted by in categories: electronics, nanotechnology, particle physics, solar power, sustainability

A family of compounds known as perovskites, which can be made into thin films with many promising electronic and optical properties, has been a hot research topic in recent years. But although these materials could potentially be highly useful in applications such as solar cells, some limitations still hamper their efficiency and consistency.

Now, a team of researchers at MIT and elsewhere say they have made significant inroads toward understanding a process for improving perovskites’ performance, by modifying the material using intense light. The new findings are being reported in the journal Nature Communications, in a paper by Samuel Stranks, a researcher at MIT; Vladimir Bulovic, the Fariborz Maseeh (1990) Professor of Emerging Technology and associate dean for innovation; and eight colleagues at other institutions in the U.S. and the U.K. The work is part of a major research effort on perovskite materials being led by Stranks, within MIT’s Organic and Nanostructured Electronics Laboratory.

Tiny defects in perovskite’s crystalline structure can hamper the conversion of light into electricity in a solar cell, but “what we’re finding is that there are some defects that can be healed under light,” says Stranks, who is a Marie Curie Fellow jointly at MIT and Cambridge University in the U.K. The tiny defects, called traps, can cause electrons to recombine with atoms before the electrons can reach a place in the crystal where their motion can be harnessed.

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May 27, 2016

8 Reasons The Business World is Looking For Sustainability Experts

Posted by in categories: business, sustainability

More and more businesses are upping their green game — in both senses of the hue — and are looking to hire people who can help them do it.

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May 27, 2016

Tesla driver asleep

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, sustainability, transportation

Click on photo to start video.

A Tesla driver was caught sleeping on the highway with his car on Autopilot. https://www.facebook.com/techinsider/videos/514246548773706/

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